Just in time for those fall sports contests kicking off this week, Christine is sharing her thoughts on a recent editorial by the Iowa High School Athletic Association to rein in unruly sports parents and adult fans. Listen to make sure you're part of the solution, not the problem!

What's Making My Heart Beat

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

After almost throwing in the towel on the podcast altogether, Christine is introducing a new format: short and sweet episodes containing God's HEART spoken straight from her HEART to your HEART. Take a listen to hear why and learn more about what the new episodes will sound like!

Oh, and there's HEARTbeats!

What’s Making My Heart Beat

The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting by Brené Brown
La Croix Sparkling Water, Coconut

We're at the point in the summer where our kids' diets are made up primarily of fruit snacks and Cheez-its and we find random cups on every surface in our homes. Help!!

This week's episode is offering snack solutions to finish the summer without losing your mind (or your temper). It's snack-tastic!

Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Great Value's Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn, Tom Clancey's Jack Ryan on Amazon

PS: For a hilarious take on summer snacks, check out this post on “What’s A Neko?”

With warm July temps comes the need for shorts and the dreaded swimsuit (gasp!). In this week's episode, Christine discusses summer body anxiety and how a full life and lots of fun just might be waiting for us on the other side of our fears and judgments.

Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Stranger Things Season 3 on Netflix, Mike & Ike's Mega Mix Sour

Grab your friends and a cold drink - it's time for TRIVIA!! The topics are all summer related and will get you reminiscing about your favorite summer foods, songs, blockbusters, etc. (Can you beat Sarah's score of 95??)

Plus, a 4th of July Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Dead to Me Netflix, Lemon No-Churn Ice Cream (recipe below!)
Christine - The Man in the High Castle, Pepsi Zero

Lemon No-Churn Ice Cream

1 T lemon zest
1/4 c lemon juice
1/8 t sea salt
1 c sugar
1 c heavy cream
1 c whole milk

Mix zest, juice, sea salt and sugar together. Add in cream and milk and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a container and put into freezer. Once soft-set, stir and then return to freezer. Once completely frozen, scoop up and enjoy! 

It's time to create that summer bucket list and this week's episode has all kinds of ideas to help you do it! From family fun to yummy food, road trips to rainy-day options, this week's podcast is sure to inspire a summer's worth of adventure for you and your people.

Plus, a big BUZZ in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Lumosity, Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend podcast

Summer is finally here and that means time to find a good beach read!

In this week's episode, we're getting you started with our 2019 summer reading list. Favorite authors, books we've read recently and our top picks for fiction and non-fiction summer reads.

Plus, the summer podcast schedule in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - linen shorts from Old Navy, On The Basis Of Sex movie

Authors To Check Out

Alafair Burke, Lisa Gardner, Chris Bohjalian, Emily Giffin, Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, Kristin Hannah

Christine’s 2019 faves (so far)

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara (also a podcast), Nothing To Prove by Jennie Allen

Christine’s Summer Reading List


My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, Normal People by Sally Rooney, Stay Up With Hugo Best by Erin Somers, Every Note Played by Lisa Genova, The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonia Iturbe, The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson


Becoming by Michelle Obama, Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf, It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst

We're finally experiencing warmer temps in the Midwest and so it's a good time to chat about Spring and Summer fashion trends for 2019. Christine and Sarah talk crop tops, body suits, dad shoes.....and, of course, the trends they'll ACTUALLY wear.😉

Plus, Lubach award recipients in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Circe by Madeline Miller, Travels With My Father on Netflix

Christine - Denim Jumpsuit Overalls from Flaunt Boutique, Fresh Blends drinks at Kwikstar

Whether you're a Disney fanatic or vowed to never go (like Christine before she went), this episode has all you need to know to plan your first Disney trip. From FastPasses and Magic Bands to food, rides and attractions, Christine provides tons of useful tips and hacks to make your trip "magical."

Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - sleeveless t-shirts (aka tank tops) - links below, Gray, nylon A New Day backpack from Target


Repeat after us: It's not you, it's May. It's not you, it's May. It's not you, it's May.

In this week's episode, Christine unpacks why the month of May is so crazy, yielding its nickname, "the new December." This month is lovely in many ways, but definitely the "Iron Mom" triathlon of physical, emotional and mental demands.

Plus, how Christine dropped the ball on Teacher Appreciation Week in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - the new royal baby, Free Solo on Amazon

It's Mother's Day week and Christine and Sarah are reflecting on their collective 25 years of motherhood and sharing lessons they've picked up along the way. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, Armchair Expert podcast
Christine - The Village on NBC, ferns

Ever been to a grand opening with those giant scissors? In this week's episode, you get to hear from the woman who invented them. (Seriously.)

As part of our "I Love My Weird Job" series, Christine interviews Kimberly Baeth of Golden Openings, Inc. who has helped tens of thousands of businesses launch through grand opening events complete with scissors, banners, balloons, shovel and keys to the city.

Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Cloudz Microbead Travel Neck Pillow, Bless This Mess on ABC

In this week's podcast, we continue our "I Love My Weird Job" series with fiction author, Rena Olsen.

Rena is a master storyteller crafting intriguing suspense in her books, "The Girl Before" and "With You Always," but began her award-winning writing career back in third grade. A long-time reader of Rena's books, Christine was majorly fangirling throughout the episode.

If you have an interest in learning the in & outs of the publishing world, this episode is for you! Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Rena - Merge DragonsHallmark Channel (non-Christmas movies)
Christine - Fitbit, The Teacher's Pet podcast

Contact Rena: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

We're launching a new series this week about weird jobs and our first guest is the ONLY person Christine knows who does this job.....pageant consulting!!

Ever wondered about the behind-the-scenes worlds of pageants and what it takes to become Miss America? Cassie Marks of Make Your Mark gives us the complete dish.....including the key to preventing any wardrobe malfunctions - butt glue!

Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Cassie - Amy Schumer's Growing on Netflix, her parents the “Bed Time Fairies”
Christine - Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre's Treasure Island, Les Miserables on PBS

Want to connect with Cassie?

Website: www.makeyourmark.cc

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MYMPageant

When someone in our life is experiencing success, why is it so easy to fall into competition vs. celebration? Why do we compare ourselves to one another and see the world through the eyes of scarcity which tells us there's a limited amount of success, happiness, love and praise to go around?

Join the conversation on this topic this week as well as spring fever, social media adjustments and Disney planning in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - The Twilight Zone on Netflix, Creamy Italian Chicken for the Instant Pot (recipe below)

Creamy Italian Chicken


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (see notes above)

  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch

  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto


  • Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add broth and sprinkle with garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

  • Place lid on the Instant Pot and turn valve to sealing. Select Manual, high pressure (the default), and set the timer to 8 minutes. The pressure cooker will take about 10 minutes to build pressure and begin counting down. 

  • Once the cook time is over, turn the Instant Pot off and let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release and open the lid.

  •  Remove the chicken breasts and place on a cutting board or serving platter. Turn the Instant Pot to saute. (OPTIONAL: strain the broth if there is fat or unappetizing chunks left over)

  • Stir together cream, red peppers, corn starch and pesto and add to the pot. Whisk and cook for 3-4 minutes, until thickened. Add chicken back to the sauce or serve with the sauce over top if desired.

Prep Time - 10 minutes

Cook Time - 8 minutes

Total Time - 18 minutes

Servings - 4 servings

Calories - 238kcal

In over three years of the podcast, the topic of social media has been one of our most consistent. We've debated its effects on our kids, our relationships and our hearts.

Now, in this week's episode, we're discussing why both Christine and Sarah are saying goodbye to social media, including why we didn't want to, what convinced us, what we think we'll miss and what steps we're taking to ensure continued connection with our friends and family.

If you're ever considered saying goodbye to social media (or wonder what kind of craziness has gotten into us!), you'll definitely want to listen and share this episode.

Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime Video
Christine - unGlue screen monitoring app, new trailer for Stranger Things Season 3

Sometimes we make faith complicated and the best solution is to go back to the beginning.

To wrap up our "Faith In Real Life" series, Christine interviews her 13 year-old daughter, Tess. In the interview, we're reminded that no matter what phase of life we're in, the love of God and the love of people are what get us through.

Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Tess - Brio MagazineRiverside Lutheran Bible Camp
Christine - Killing EveJustin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

We continue our "Faith In Real Life" series with guest, Michael Meggison. (Leave it to Michael to earn us our first-ever "Explicit" podcast rating - thanks, Megs!)

Michael shares what faith looks like as a busy dad of three kids (and a beautiful wife - lol!) as he prepares to turn 50 this week.

Plus, a whale watching in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Michael - whale watching, early morning quiet time at sunrise
Christine - March Madness, Lenten Gratitude Challenge from What's A Neko?

We continue our Faith In Real Life series with retiree, empty nester, and mentor to Christine and Sarah, Mary Stier. After an illustrious career, Mary entered full-time ministry and is currently completing a two-year, spiritual formation program.

Mary shares the highs and lows of faith during this season of her life and offers insights, valuable hacks and advice for whatever phase you find yourself in. Plus, Daylight Saving(s) Time in The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Mary - Real Simple recipes, scavenger hunt (list below)
Christine - Good and Beautiful God series by James Bryan Smith, lemon bars (recipe below)

Lemon Bars

2 c flour

1 c butter or oleo

1/2 c powdered sugar

Blend above ingredients with fingers. Press into 9 x 13 pan. Bake 15-20 min. @ 350 degrees.

4 eggs

2 c sugar

6 T lemon juice

4 T flour

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

Beat four eggs. Add remaining ingredients and pour over hot baked crust. Bake an additional 25 min. @ 350 degrees. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar after baking.

Scavenger Hunt

Rules of the Game:

No more than three items per house.

Game participants’ homes are off limits.

No phone calls - a phone may only be used as a camera.

No cars - the hunt is played on foot.

Your team must stay together at all times.

If a neighbor doesn’t want to part with an item, please take a picture of the neighbor with the item.

You have one hour to collect the items.

One point for each item.

The first team returning to home base with all the items wins. If no team gathers all the items, the team with the highest number of points at the end of one hour wins.

Now have fun and reclaim your childhood silliness!


A movie ticket

A bar of hotel soap

A sock with a hole in it

A birthday candle

A Christmas card

A thimble

A #2 pencil

A watch battery

A package of seeds

A man’s plaid jacket

A prom or bridesmaid dress

A beer from a foreign country

An edible plant

A Disney VHS movie

A family recipe

A bug - dead or alive

A melted kitchen utensil

An old piece of sports equipment

A lipstick (not red, pink or orange)

We launch a new series this week called, "Faith In Real Life." It's a discussion about how faith grows and expresses itself in different phases of life and our first guest is Bridget Rauch.

Bridget is newly married and shares the opportunities and challenges she faces growing in her faith as both a young single woman and now as she's married, including hacks for any season of life and faith. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Bridget - Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero, cooking healthy meals in her new home
Christine - Blue Chair Blessing, Coconut Oikos Greek Yogurt

We are up to our necks in snow around here and kind of over it. (Okay, we're totally over it!)

But, it got us thinking about our beauty routines and how they change (for the better or worse) during the winter. From skin care, hair and makeup to nutrition, exercise and clothes, Christine and Sarah chat all about how they're coping and working to stay beautiful this winter.

Plus, a podcast-versary in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - homemade lotion (recipe below), Beautycounter's Overnight Facial Peel
Christine - O'Keeffe's Company's Lip Repair Lip Balm, Universal Threads jeans at Target

Woo hoo!! Christine's husband Michael is on the podcast this week and they're talking about the division of household labor between them.

Who handles which chores and why? As well as, how did they come up with this plan, how much does their upbringing influence it, do they want to switch chore assignments, and how come they aren't using the free labor living in their own home more??

Lots of laughs and insights (good or bad?) into the Meggisons! Plus, a bittersweet Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Michael - noise-cancelling headphones, audio-version of the Passion Bible on Audible
Christine - audio books on HooplaDressLily

Have you given up hope? Does believing in a good future feel too painful? Then this episode is for you!

We wrap up our Belonging series looking at God's heart for us to "be longing" for the good gifts He has in store for us.....and why it's sometimes hard to have hope.

Plus, a big birthday in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Valentine's Day apparel, Valentine's Day candy

We continue our series on Belonging taking a look at the one person we're guaranteed to belong to perfectly - God.

He chose you to be part of his family, a place you'll always belong, and wants you to relish in your role as a child of the King.

Plus, a painting project in The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Modern Decorators/ Tony Ekman Painting , peanut butter cup cookies (recipe below)

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

  3. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

We weren't meant to do life or faith alone. We were created to belong to one another and do life in community.

But, what does that mean and how can we make that happen in our own lives?

Join Christine for her conversation about belonging in this week's episode. Plus, Marie Kondo in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - 2019, 52-book reading challenge (see below),  The Keepers

If you’re looking for a great reading challenge for yourself, check out the 2019 What's A Neko? Reading Challenge!

Kids have so many options for activities these days. It's enough to make your head spin just thinking about it, let alone bust your budget and schedule.

In this week's podcast, Christine identifies three messages the world tells us when it comes to this topic and offers a different approach that just might be the solution you've been waiting for! Plus, The Pulse!

What’s Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Clairol Temporary Root Touch-UpDirty John

Ever felt the pressure to perform or be perfect? Tired of trying to gain others approval while losing yourself in the process? In this week's podcast, Christine and Sarah discuss their own struggles with proving their worth and their steps for finding freedom. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Qwirkle, Easy, Fancy Crab Dip (recipe below)
Christine - "Come As You Are" sign by Smallwoods, "All Are Welcome Here" mat from Target

Easy Fancy Crab Dip

1 8 oz. carton of regular cream cheese

1 8 oz. carton of chive & onion cream cheese

4 oz. of sour cream

2 cans crab

Worcestershire sauce

Lawry’s seasoning salt

garlic powder


1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups grated parmesan cheese (divided)

Using the microwave in 30 second increments, melt together the two cartons of cream cheese and the sour cream. Add in crab. Add several dashes (approx 2 T) of Worcestershire sauce. Add Lowery’s, garlic powder, and sugar (approx one T) to taste. Stir in cheddar cheese and one cup of parmesan cheese. Pour into greased baking dish. Top with additional parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s hot and bubbly. Serve with blue corn chips.

Happy eating!

Christine interviews Simple Purposeful Living's Erin Port about strategies for kicking off the new year, including goal setting and how to find success by making those resolutions both simple and purposeful. Plus, a New Year's Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Erin - meal planning (see link below), early morning routine
Christine - Downton Abbey movie, OpenTable

Here’s a link to Simple Purposeful Living’s Meal Planner and Journals.

Erin also mentioned Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets Goal Planner. Here’s the link!

Finally, if you’re looking for steps for selecting a word for 2019, check out Erin’s blog post here.

Remember that "Grown-Up Christmas List," classic song by Amy Grant? In this week's episode, Christine and Sarah create their own grown-up Christmas lists, including peace on earth and a solution to middle school body odor. Plus, a 2018 recap in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - photo ornaments from MpixThe Grinch movieThe Good Cop on Netflix
Christine - The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix, easy Christmas cookies (pouch, tub, sprinkles)

What's your favorite Christmas treat, song, or movie? Do you have a favorite gift or memory? In the second week of Christmas with the Meggisons, Christine asks her kids these questions and also what they think is the true meaning of the season. Their answers might surprise you! Plus, an Advent challenge in the Pulse.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Christmas clearance shopping, hosting a kid-friendly New Year's Eve party

The Meggison kids are taking over the podcast sharing with Christine all about their Christmas traditions, including the ones they like, the ones they don't (can you say Christmas lights??), and which ones they plan on passing along to their own kids. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - The Great American Baking Show Holiday EditionWhat's A Neko? blog

Whether you're a Black Friday veteran or a Black Friday rookie, this episode will give you all kinds of tips and tricks for maximizing your shopping experience, including how to stay on budget, get the best deals and have fun. Plus, a Friendsgiving Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Santa's Bag app, Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie

Infobesity. Infoxication. Information Overload. Information Anxiety. No matter what you call it, we're living in a world with TMI: too much information! Christine and Sarah discuss how it's affecting them and how they're trying to manage it all. Plus, a Pulse about gratitude!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Hester & Cook, Things Above podcast with James Bryan Smith
Christine - Revive with Lisa Peck, Goodfellow & Co brand at Target

In a world filled with evil, death, cancer, natural disasters, abuse, and all manners of darkness, our natural question is: why do bad things happen? Christine takes a crack at answering this common and important question in this week's episode. Plus, a heartfelt Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Lindt Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles, family photos with Becky Peterson Photography

Losing a child is most people's worst nightmare. And that's exactly what happened to Alexandra Knaub in January 2018. Now, less than 10 months since this tragic event, Alexandra shares with Christine how God carried her through those painful days and how she's finding hope in their family's new normal. This is a powerful story of God's faithfulness and our ability to overcome when we hold tight to Him. Plus, a Halloween Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Alexandra - The Greatest Showman, Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi, Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Christine - The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Des Moines Playhouse - Nov. 2-25 (buy tickets at link), duster cardigans

In 2006, Sally Drees got the shock of her life. She tested positive for breast cancer and that began her, now, 12-year fight with this disease. For years Sally was angry and afraid. But, two years ago that all began to change. Listen to Christine's interview with Sally and hear her powerful story of overcoming the hopelessness of a terminal diagnosis to finding peace, hope and joy again. Plus, Christine's thoughts on aging in The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sally - chai latte from Starbucks, seeing her sons pursue their dreams
Christine - God Friended Me, turning 44 this week

Abbie Kampman is no stranger to tragedy. After growing up the daughter of an alcohol- and drug-addicted mother, in the summer of 1999 as a soon-to-be-freshman in high school, Abbie's mother and her boyfriend drove drunk, causing a tragic car accident which took their lives, as well as the lives of her two young sisters who were in the car and a man whose car they hit.

After years of grief and shame over her mother's actions, Abbie shares with Christine her powerful story of redemption and overcoming, including having God's strength to do the impossible - reach out to the victims of her mother's accident after 17 years. Plus, overcoming the need to impress in The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Abbie - Vanilla Bourbon candle from Target
Abbie and Christine - A Million Little Things
Christine - Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Christine has the best job ever.

Sarah's back (yay!) and she and Christine are talking all about the new fall TV lineup. Listen in for what shows they're excited about and top recommendations for you to check out! Plus, a fall treat in The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Ryan Hamilton: Happy Face on Netflix, Inspired by Rachel Held Evans
Christine - Sierra Burgess Is A Loser on Netflix, Race for the Cure (Team Hakuna Ma Tatas)

No better finale to our "Eat Your Heart Out" series than an interview with Iowa Girl Eats' Kristin Porter. Christine and Kristin talk food blogging, being your own boss changes in blogging and food over the past 10 years, and hacks for making delicious meals for busy people. Plus, a Mary Poppins Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Kristin - Full Circle Market Sweet Potato ChipsJoel Gott Sauvignon Blanc
Christine - Egg Roll in a Bowl (recipe below), Pelé Film

Here is the post Kristin mentioned about having a well-stocked kitchen: The Well Stocked Kitchen

Find Kristin and The Iowa Girl Eats at:





Egg Roll In A Bowl

1 lb. ground turkey breast can substitute with ground chicken, ground beef, or ground pork

  • 1 sweet onion diced

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil*

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic**

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼ cup less sodium soy sauce

  • 1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix

  • ½ cup grated or “matchstick” carrots

  • 2 green onions thinly sliced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (optional)


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and cook, stirring, until no longer pink. Drain; return meat to skillet.

  2. Add diced onion, sesame oil, and rice vinegar to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for a few more minutes (until onion is tender).

  3. Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce (optional), coleslaw mix, and carrots to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for about 5-7 more minutes, or until cabbage is wilted.

  4. Remove skillet from the heat. Stir in green onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Recipe by The Seasoned Mom

When did the simple act of eating get so confusing? Keto? Paleo? Whole 30? Gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free? Add in discussions about organics, fats, intermittent fasting and gut health and it's enough to make your stomach turn and your head spin. Never fear! This week, Christine continues her Eat Your Heart Out series by taking a look at popular nutrition trends and fads so you'll be in the know hanging around the water cooler (oh yeah, water is good for you!). Plus, a call out for cultural change in The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - "The Last Conversation You'll Ever Need To Have About Eating Right" by Mark Bittman and Dr. David L. Katz on Grub Street, Serial Season 3

We're kicking off a new series this week: Eat Your Heart Out! It's all about food, so Christine offers a review of and ideas for the Instant Pot. And, as promised, she shares her thoughts (rant?) about our country's obsession with pumpkin spice in The Pulse.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - cute Instant Pots by The Pioneer Woman found at Walmart, Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

It's Christine's first solo episode and she confesses all the ways she doesn't know what she's doing in life and in podcasting, including ditching an episode she recorded in favor of getting vulnerable. Plus, a look back at 9-11 in the Pulse.

What’s Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - “The Wave” at The University of Iowa, Flaunt Boutique (check out their app!)

Back-to-school means new clothes and this week Christine and Sarah discuss the newest trends in fall fashion, including the fashion they wore back-to-school back in the day (hello, 90s!!)! Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - new, fall Cabi line, Menuha! episode of The Robcast with Rob Bell, Janet Jackson's new tour
Christine - dark brown leather cuffs (check out Lieba Market), The Girl Before by Rena Olsen

Next up in our back-to-school series is our conversation with teacher, mom and good friend, Katherine Southmayd. Christine and Sarah discuss with Katherine what it's like to go back to school from a teacher's perspective, including what's involved to get ready to welcome students (hint: it's A LOT!) and how parents can best prepare their kids for the new school year. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah: vincas, Nobody Eats Alone by Steve Hartman
Katherine - God Is Good by Bill Johnson, Insanity Max 30 by Shaun T
Christine - The Good Wife, Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Fall and back-to-school means sorting through your schedule. And this week, Christine and Sarah talk about various approaches to getting your schedule figured out, including some great hacks for building in margin. Plus an update on Sarah's basement renovation in The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, Sugar Rush
Christine - The Kindness DiariesSearching

It's the end of July and you might be so OVER chicken breasts on the grill by this point. Christine and Sarah talk summer grilling and fun ways you can mix it up to push through the last month of summer. (Can you say kebabs??) Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Asian Chicken Salad (recipe below!), Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Christine - The Lying Game by Ruth WareSabra Roasted Red Pepper HummusDelighted By: The Original Dessert Hummus

Soft serve or hard packed? Plain or with mix-ins? On a cone, in a dish, homemade or in a cake? So many yummy choices and who knew a frozen dairy dessert could be a metaphor for life?? You'll be dreaming about sweet treats after this week's podcast episode about ice cream in all its flavors and forms. Plus, a Hamilton Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Bailey's Irish Cream by Häagen-Dazs, Oreo ice cream dessert (recipe coming!)
Christine - riced cauliflower, kitchen towels by Urban Smirk

In case you missed Christine and Sarah’s ode to Hamilton.

Chris Pratt's Nine Rules speech (watch below!) went viral and in it he boldly professed his faith. This week, Christine and Sarah discuss his rules, the faith behind them and the religious freedom we experience (and celebrate this holiday week!) in the USA. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Colin Kartchner on IG and his social media movement, Nothing To Prove by Jennie Allen
Christine - Smart Social Podcast

The sun, wind, sweat and humidity. This week, Christine and Sarah discuss how their beauty routines change in the summer, including how they somehow become both more low maintenance (Pool hair? Don't care.) and high maintenance (We should probably shave our legs.) during these warm months. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - John Frieda's Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray, "Need It Nude" Day-to-Night Lipstick Duo by e.l.f. Cosmetics
Christine - rolled ice cream, Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Summer is blockbuster movie season so Christine and Sarah are giving you the scoop on what must-see films are coming to a big screen near you. Action adventures, comedies and family-friendly flicks are on the list, perfect for an escape from the heat. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriThe Shape of Water
Christine - Season Five of Arrested DevelopmentCanada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water

We're taking the week off for the Memorial Day holiday. But if you're wanting a little podcast shot in the arm, check out this episode of the Just Add Sprinkles podcast. Christine was a guest talking about how to resist the temptation and pressure to make summer magical for your kids by embracing a simpler, 1980s kind of summer.

Here's the LINK to listen!

You can find the blog post Christine references in the podcast HERE.

This week, Christine and Sarah welcome Fawnn Briggeman to the podcast to discuss her love of travel and the logistics of how she and her family take a trip every 2-3 months. If you're thinking about taking a summer vacation, Fawnn has some great tips for getting that done! Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - travel pillows, The Joel McHale Show
Fawnn - Farrell's eXtreme BodyshapingThe Middle
Christine - The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth WareMy Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

Summer is coming and so are your kids. Are you ready? In this week's episode, Christine and Sarah share five hacks you can do now that will leave you winning all summer long. Plus, an announcement in the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies from Trader Joe's, artwork from Bloom
Christine - the Royal Wedding (1 pm London time on 5.19.18), Armchair Expert Podcast with Dax Shepard

We have a new episode about Mom Superheroes this week and we have an amazing giveaway to celebrate those heroes in your life. Details in the video below!

Moms save the world each and every day and in this week's podcast, Christine and Sarah reveal some mom superhero identities. Are you the Fixer? The Magician? The Sensei? Find out in this week's episode. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Mother's Day gifts from WalmartMinimalist Baker
Christine - Little Women on Masterpiece PBS, Eric Hanson's This Is Iowa story "Against All Odds: The Chris Norton Story"

We're so excited about our Merry Mother's Day giveaway with Mary Smith Hair!! Tag your favorite moms in our FB post, telling us why they are amazing, between now and May 11th and you'll BOTH be entered to win a haircut and color service. Every mom deserves to be pampered and this our gift to you thanks to Mary Smith Hair! Good luck!

First pet. First kiss. First car. First job. Those firsts in our lives hold a special place in our hearts and this week, Christine and Sarah are looking back at the firsts that meant the most to them. Plus, a May Day Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - The Republic on GrandHomeland Season 7
Christine - Potbelly Sandwich Shop, If I Run series by Terri Blackstock

This week we learn all about how Christine met her husband, Michael, and if you think the Lubachs had a whirlwind romance, just you wait! Did you know Christine has known Michael since she was a little girl?? Hear all about it in this week's episode. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - fresh flowers from Trader Joe's, moss-covered bunnies from Hobby Lobby
Christine - caramel brownies (recipe below), Manzanita Sol

Caramel Brownies


  • 1 box german chocolate cake mix

  • 14 oz package Kraft caramels, about 45

  • 10 oz can evaporated milk, divided

  • ¾ cup butter melted

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I use jumbo)

  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.

  2. Melt the caramel and ⅓ cup evaporated milk and stir in a small saucepan over low heat until melted and incorporated.

  3. In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, ⅓ cup evaporated milk, melted butter and flour. Press half of the mix into the 9x13 inch dish and bake for 6 minutes.

  4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and pour the caramel over the chocolate chips.

  5. Top with the remaining brownie batter on the top of the caramel and bake for an additional 15-18 minutes.

  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely so that the caramel can set. I also find that if you let it cool and place in the fridge it helps to set up right before cutting.


It's spring time and love is in the air! No better time to reminisce about how we met our husbands, starting with how Sarah met Aaron over a decade ago. Travel back in time as Sarah describes how it all began. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - PerrierQueer Eye on Netflix
Christine - When We First Met on Netflix, The Queen of Hearts and book reviews by Kimmery Martin

In case you missed it, Christine and Sarah were pretty pumped about last week’s warm weather, but already bemoaning the fact that it wouldn’t last. Case in point: thunderstorms and snow in the next two days. Pull it together, Iowa!

Eventually it will feel like spring and Christine and Sarah have all the tips you need to freshen up your wardrobe for the season. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Cotton On, Slim Boyfriend Jean with patches by cabi
Christine - Saucony Jazz Low Pro, The Case For Christ on Netflix

In another Heart & Soul interactive episode, Christine and Sarah introduce Lectio Divina (a meditative approach to scripture). They study John 15:1-17 and discuss the purpose behind the hard situations in their lives, God as their source of joy, and the importance of staying connected. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Avacodo, Cilantro and Lime TriscuitsSneaky Pete
Christine - Game Night movie, Timmy & Flynn's Red Pepper Deli

Counselor and coach Lisa Peck joins us again as we continue our two-week series about control. Lisa helps us discover what's really behind our controlling behavior and provides tips for moving out of control and into trust. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk, Darkest Hour
Lisa - Pure Knead BreadBeats noise-canceling headphones
Christine - Timeless, The Big Cheez by Jolly Time Pop Corn

Control issues. We all have them. Even the most laid-back of us can find control creeping up unexpectedly. In the first of our two-week series about control, Christine and Sarah confess their own control issues, including when it pops up, what it sounds like, and the negative effects control has on their hearts and relationships. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Ladybird, Where's Waldo? books
Christine - The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Lemon Drop Leather Shop

Christine and Sarah talk spring break, girls gone wild (!), and our new series dropping TOMORROW! Plus, Janet Jackson.

Exercise. Working out. Me time. Dread mill. Whatever you call it, figuring out when to work out, what to do and where to do it can be a challenge. Christine and Sarah share their own (or lack thereof) fitness routines, including what they would do instead of working out if they could. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - (movie) marathon - Best Picture Festival in Cedar Falls, The Post
Christine - MixedRise

Who are Christine and Sarah picking for the Oscars?? Tune in below and join us LIVE Sunday night right here on our FB page for comments throughout the awards show! Happy Friday!

For more than 15 years, our guest, Mandy Franje, has wanted to adopt and she is currently in the process of adopting two boys from Africa. This week, Christine and Sarah interview Mandy about her passion for adoption, the ups and downs of the adoption journey and how her faith has grown through the process. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Ruth Harbor, The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron
Mandy - Daring To Hope by Katie Davis Majors, charcuterie
Christine - Candy CrushSpecial K Protein cereal

Happy anniversary and 100th episode to YOU!! We’re so thankful for all your support and don’t forget about our giveaway!! (More details in video!)

We're celebrating our 100th episode, the two-year podcast anniversary, and thousands of spoken words by scaling it all down to the simplest of phrases. Being a woman, marriage, parenting, life balance, getting ready, and faith in SIX words. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah: The Big Sick, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon's "King Of Wishful Thinking" video with Paul Rudd (below)
Christine: The Podium by NBC Sports, Wish

Beyond soda and chocolate, Christine and Sarah discuss other things they would like to give up for Lent, including control, worry and addiction to their phone. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - winter coat from Sierra Trading Post, Dorito Pie (recipe below)
Christine - Walmart online grocery shopping, Omaha Steaks

Dorito Pie

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 package taco seasoning

1/2 cup water

1 tube crescent roll dough

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

3 cups crushed Doritos, divided

1/4 cup salsa

1/4 cup melted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown ground beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.

Stir in taco seasoning and water and simmer until thickened (about five minutes).

Spray a 9" pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. Separate the crescent dough into triangles and line the pie pan placing the points towards the center of the dish. Press the seams to seal.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of crushed Doritos onto the crescent crust. Top with ground beef.

Combine sour cream and salsa. Spread over the ground beef layer.

Top with cheese and remaining Doritos. Drizzle with melted butter.

Bake 20 minutes or until the crescent crust is golden brown.

Olympic opening ceremonies TONIGHT! But, if the Olympics aren’t your thing, cozy up this weekend with a romantic comedy. Christine and Sarah count down their Top Five and their #1 might surprise you (and them!)! Happy Friday!

Figure skating, snowboarding, downhill skiing and speed skating - the Winter Olympics are almost here and Christine and Sarah are pumped! Join this week's discussion about favorite winter Olympic memories ("Why?"), Bob Costas' pink eye, and what event they'd compete in if they were Olympic athletes. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Nora and Ashley's Veggie Plates, Blue Chair Blessing
Christine - Brach's cherry jube jel hearts and sour balls, USA track jacket from Ragstock

Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman.jpg

We’ve been told that we’re the Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist of Iowa. And Christine actually said that to Jen tonight. Zero chill. 🙄

And then, not to leave Nichole Nordeman out of the mix, she added, “We’d love if they said we were the Nichole Nordeman of Iowa, but neither of us can sing a lick.” This is why they don’t let us out in public.

But, Jen and Nichole were gracious and we absolutely LOVED hosting their meet & greet at the Moxie Matters tour at Lutheran Church of Hope and seeing so many of you there. A great night!

PS: Because Christine was sure she’d put her foot in her mouth (✅), she wrote Jen and Nichole notes. And Sarah wore an elephant shirt so we’re sure we’re all square now.

Remember when we made Jen and Shauna a major part of our April Fool’s Day episode?

Christine and Sarah are gearing up for next week. Their comeback is the big story of this year’s Olympics. #3000calories

This week's conversation will have you rethinking time management and inspired to bring your faith into your daily calendar. In this Heart Like Mine episode, Christine and Sarah interview best-selling author and time management expert Elizabeth Saunders about her book, Divine Time Management: The Joy Of Trusting God's Plans For You. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - new routine for commuications, faux fur throw
Elizabeth - Do It Again by Elevation Worship, Defender by Upper Room
Christine - lululemon yoga mat, The Cosby Show on Amazon

Links mentioned in the episode:



An upcoming event, requests for new podcast topic ideas, and why Christine and Sarah are on a first name/nickname basis with Mark Zuckerberg.

You asked for it and we delivered (pun (sort of) intended)! After many requests, this week Christine and Sarah compare two online grocery shopping options and give rankings based on ease of ordering and website navigation, product availability, pickup, and more. This is part four of our New Year, New You series. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Doc MartensComedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Christine - Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, I Never Saw Another Butterfly by Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre

Christine suggested I post a video from California while she was ice skating in Iowa. The wind! And I didn’t even get the sunset. #fail

Sarah is in sunny California. Christine is not. No matter your weather, have a great weekend! PS: Did you know Christine is part of the Olympic figure skating team?? The jacket proves it! USA!!

It seems like the Enneagram is everywhere! Christine and Sarah jump on board explaining more about this personality test, their own personality types, and how the Enneagram can help you in all your key relationships. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Jicama, peanut butter mound with HERSHEY'S
Christine - Moxie Matters Tour: West Des MoinesiRobot/Roomb

Is growing in your faith, reading your Bible, or meditating daily part of your 2018 goals? This week, Christine and Sarah lead us through another Heart & Soul interactive episode sure to encourage your spiritual growth.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - In The Bleak Midwinter, letter board by Letterfolk
Christine - Steal Away Home by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey, The Newsroom

The Golden Globes are here and, as you can see, Christine and Sarah are ready!! (It’s Sarah’s Super Bowl, after all!) Join us here on our Straight From Heartland FB page during the show (Sunday at 7 pm on NBC) where we’ll be commenting in real time about the show, the jokes, and the fashion!! Happy Friday!

As we kick off 2018, we also kick off a series entitled New Year, New You. Christine and Sarah discuss their own 2018 goals, what might get in their way, and how they'll overcome those obstacles. Also, The Pulse and a preview of the upcoming series.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Sonja's Hot and Spicy Artichoke Dip (recipe below), Survivor
Christine - Power Life Yoga, The Crown Season 2

Sonja's Hot and Spicy Artichoke Dip

1 cup Miracle Whip
1 pkg. shredded Parmesan cheese (divided in half)
1 can marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
1 can Rotel green chilies and tomatoes
2 tbsp. green onions (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle second 1/2 of Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or microwave 7 minutes.

Christine and Sarah’s Top Ten of 2017. Worth watching to the end for a surprise. What’s on your top ten??

Need ideas for how to crush holiday break so it doesn't crush you? This week's episode is filled with options from low-key to high-activity and everything in between. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - The Holiday, Pizza Bombs (recipe below)
Christine - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell

Pizza Bombs

Crescent Roll Dough

2 mozzarella cheese sticks cut into 4 even pieces

Pasta or Pizza Sauce

32 piece of pepperoni

Italian Herbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non stick spray. Open your crescent dough and lay each triangle over an open muffin space. Add one teaspoon of pizza/pasta sauce to each triangle.  Add two pieces of pepperoni, then one piece of cheese, followed by 2 more pieces of pepperoni to cover it. Wrap each triangle over and fold into a ball. Sprinkle with herbs. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with an additional side of warm pasta sauce.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Christine and Sarah. ❤️

Cousin Eddie. Every family has one (or two!). Family Counselor Lisa Peck joins Christine and Sarah to discuss helpful tips for navigating family gatherings in a healthy way. Plus, The Pulse. Merry Christmas!!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Boundaries by Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, MUK LUKS
Lisa - books and podcasts by Emily P. Freeman, Christmas Train book or Hallmark movie
Christine - Canada Dry cranberry ginger ale, Hash brown Breakfast Casserole (recipe below!)

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

1 lb. bacon
5 large eggs (or 1 1/4 c. egg substitute)
1/4 c. milk
3 c. country-style hash browns, thawed
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-in pie plate or quiche dish. Cook, cool, and crumble bacon. Set aside. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk. Stir in potatoes, onion, salt, pepper, 1 c. of cheese and 1/2 of the bacon. Pour into dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Sprinkle remaining cheese and bacon on top. Bake for another 4-5 min or until cheese has melted. Serves 8.

We recorded our own “mom version” of The 12 Days of Christmas!! Enjoy....and then panic that there’s only 12 more days. 😊😳

Christmas cards. Love getting them. Don't always love sending them. Christine and Sarah discuss the major task of Christmas cards and having a funny discussion about the lost art of real mail. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - new Magnolia Journal, gift guides by Glennon Doyle and Joanna Goddard
Christine - Rustic Art Expressions, "One Starry Night" event at Grimes UMC

Christine and Sarah helping you get your gift buying (and wrapping) HANDLED!! (Info about our GIVEAWAY with Rustic Art Expressions.)

Needing gift ideas for your people or yourself?? Christine and Sarah offer suggestions for all the people in your life - women, men, kids and teachers. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Sweet Smell Of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry, PB Blossom Cookies (recipe below)
Christine - Browned Butter Toffee Cookies (recipe below), McAlister's Deli

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c margarine
1/2 c peanut butter
1 egg
2 T. milk
1 tsp vanilla
48 milk chocolate candy kisses

Blend shortening, sugars and peanut butter.  Add egg, milk, vanilla and mix.  Blend in soda, salt and flour.  Chill for at least an hour or overnight.  Shape into balls using rounded teaspoon.  Roll in sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 min.  Remove from oven.  Top each cookie immediately with kiss, pressing down lightly so edges of cookie cracks.

Brown Butter Toffee Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup white sugar

2 eggs room temperature preferred

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate toffee pieces (Like Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Pieces)

sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside. Cut  your butter into Tablespoon-sized pieces and place in a medium-sized saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat.

Browning the Butter (It's easy, I promise!)

Once butter has melted, increase heat to just above medium heat. Swirl and scrape the sides of the pan frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula - the butter will bubble and pop. Once the bubbling/popping slows, the butter will begin to turn brown. Watch the butter very carefully at this point, and once it begins to brown and you smell the nutty aroma of browned butter, remove from heat quickly and pour into a large, heatproof bowl.  Allow b utter to cool for 25-30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

Cookie Dough

Add sugars into cooled browned butter, stir well. Stir in eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and stir.

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until ingredients are nearly completely combined.

Add milk chocolate toffee bits and stir until ingredients are well-incorporated.

Drop by heaping, rounded 1 1/2-Tbsp scoops onto prepared cookie sheets, placing at least 2" apart.

Bake on 350F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown (cookies should still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven, and may even appear slightly underbaked in center). Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Allow cookies to cool on baking pan for about 3 minutes and then use a spatula to gently scoop beneath them and carefully wiggle them free from the parchment paper, as the toffee tends to stick.  Allow to cool several more minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Just a normal Thursday around here. Who knew that hairnets give you super math powers??

In the debut of our new interactive, Heart & Soul episodes, Sarah leads us through a prayer exercise to center our hearts for the Advent season. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Preparing For Jesus by Walt Wangerin, Up-Down Des Moines
Christine - Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, Dirty John podcast

Bonus episode!! Double the fun this week with our bonus episode featuring our interview with The Voice contestant Chris Weaver. We get another "behind-the-scenes" look at the show including Team JHud, response to his worship leader/drag queen label, and how he blanked out during his blind auditions. Plus, The Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - decorating for Christmas
Sarah - Small Business Saturday

If you're obsessing about this season of The Voice as much as Christine and Sarah, you're in for a treat this week!! We welcome contestant Jon Mero to the podcast and get a "behind-the-scenes" look at the show from auditions, to wardrobe, and, of course, dreamboat Adam Levine. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - TOCCA travel perfume, Stranger Things Season 2

Christine - Kevin (Probably) Saves The World, Stranger Things Season 2

One week until Black Friday and Christine and Sarah have A LOT of questions.

Pain can be life's greatest teacher. No one is exempt. And when you're walking through a difficult season of life, hope can seem elusive. It can also be the one thing that gets you through. In this week's episode, Christine and Sarah share some of their own painful experiences, the unhealthy ways they handled them, and how they ultimately found hope. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Food Swings by Jessica Seinfeld, The Robcast w Rob Bell
Christine - The God Of All Comfort By Hannah Whitall Smith, The Style Bar Boutique

It’s here!! Sarah and Christine give you a tour of the new Hearth & Hand by Magnolia Market section at Target. Yet another way to kill an hour in our happy place!

In honor of Veteran's Day, Christine and Sarah interview a military wife about the challenges facing military families. Plus, the Pulse!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Apple Crisp (recipe below), decorating with cotton stems
Amber - basketball season and an upcoming trip to watch her daughter play in NY, family who are huge support
Christine - middle school Veteran's Day celebrations, free Veteran's Day breakfast at Hy-Vee

Apple Crisp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a 13x9 dish with cut up apples, peeled.
Sprinkle with about 1/3 c sugar and some cinnamon.
In a bowl, combine equal parts brown sugar, oatmeal, flour, and half as much butter or margarine (I usually use 1 cup sugar, oatmeal, etc.).
Mix together with fingers.
Pour over apples.
Sprinkle with more cinnamon.

Bake for 25 minutes or until topping is just barely turning golden.  YUM! #itsfallyall

Sarah and Christine keeping it real with an early morning greeting and our thoughts on adult acne (in case you were wondering).

Things have gotten a little STRANGE around here. #strangerthings #ripbarb#blondehairdarkroots

In this week's video version of The Pulse, Sarah and Christine share their thoughts about the #metoo campaign.

We're introducing a new podcast segment called The Pulse and in it we're talking about our current tv obsession. 

We released our first video (let us know what you think!) and it contains some important announcements, including that we'll be taking the month of October off. Look for us back with new episodes starting Novemeber 7th.

Love, Christine and Sarah

Fall means cooler weather, sweaters, boots, pumpkins and NEW tv shows!! Christine, Sarah, and Stacey are making predictions about which shows will make it in this year's fall tv lineup.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Catastrophe, sliced brioche bread from Trader Joe's
Sarah - Junkfood Tee's Michael Jackson shirt from Macy's, Ozark
Christine - GoliathThe Last Tycoon

Back in May, Christine, Sarah, and Stacey set personal goals for what they would FINALLY do this summer. This week, they follow-up on those goals to see which ones they crushed and which ones were a bust.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Decorating indoors with unique, fabric pumpkins, Carnaby Loafers from Cabi
Stacey - 36 Questions podcast, Blossom Intuition leggings from Athleta
Christine - Wayfair, Scotcharoos


1 c. white corn syrup
1 c. sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 t salt
6 c. Rice Krispies

Bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil on medium heat. Remove from heat, add peanut butter and stir until melted. Add Rice Krispies and pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and press evenly. Let cool.

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1c. butterscotch chips

Combine both types of chips in a small sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, pour evenly over bars and let cool.

Once cooled, cut, serve and enjoy! Makes approx 24 bars.

In honor of Labor Day week, Christine and Sarah share the highs and the lows of their labor and delivery stories, including what they learned about themselves through the process.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Green Apple candles from IKEA, Clue app
Christine -  The SkimmWho What Wear clothing

Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross and Joey. It's been 23 years since everyone's favorite "Friends" first debuted on tv, but Christine, Sarah, and Stacey still love the show and spend this week talking about their favorite episodes, characters, and which friend they most resemble. Could this podcast BE any funnier?

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - the public school system,  Typology Podcast
Stacey - Smith's Minted Rose lip balm, potted ferns
Christine - Team Friends shirts from Beadsbee Boutique, P3 (Portable Protein Packs) from Oscar Mayer

It's back-to-school season which means parents across the country are looking for ways to make their weeknight meals quick and easy. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share their ideas, hacks, and recipes for making mealtimes during the school year a snap!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Trader Joe's Coffee Bean Blast ice cream, hometown coordinates tea towel from Fig & Frolic
Stacey - PureWowPlunder Design jewelry
Christine - Walt Before Mickey movie, Roll For It dice game

Here's the Iowa Girl Eats Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe Stacey shared for an easy weeknight meal.

Stacey's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup from Iowa Girl Eats

1 Tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot (or 10 mini carrots), thinly sliced
1 rib celery, chopped
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
46oz chicken broth*
8 oz frozen egg noodles


Melt butter and olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, celery, salt & pepper, and saute for 8-10 minutes or until soft. If you feel like you need to add more oil, add a splash of chicken broth instead and cover the pot with a lid so veggies can steam.

Add in minced garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add chicken and chicken broth, turn the heat up to high and bring the soup to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Serve and enjoy! (Serves 6.)

*If pre-making, let cool then refrigerate. You may need to add in
an additional can of chicken broth when re-heating as the egg noodles will have soaked up some broth.

Christine's Easy Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef
1 t minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Onion - optional
1 - 19 oz can of enchilada sauce
8-10 flour tortillas
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef with garlic, salt and pepper (onion, if desired). Drain fat from beef and add 1/3 can of enchilada sauce. Remove from heat and add 2/3 c cheese to beef mixture and let melt.

Spoon 1/4 c of beef/cheese mixture into a flour tortilla, roll, and place in a greased 9x13 pan. Continue adding tortillas until beef/cheese mixture is gone (approx. 8-10 tortillas). Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas and bake at 375 degrees for 20 min. Top with remaining cheese and return to oven for 5 min or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream and salsa. Great warmed up! (Serves 6-8.)

Sarah's One-Skillet Lasagna

1 1/4 c. ricotta cheese
1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1 1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 (26oz.) jar pasta sauce
6 oven ready lasagna noodles

In medium bowl, mix ricotta and next four ingredients.  Set aside.  Brown beef in large saucepan/skillet, add zucchini and stir in 2 c. sauce.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Top w/two noodles in center.  Break two more noodles to fill edges.  Spread cheese mixture on top - cheese will hold down curling edges of noodles.  Lay on remaining noodles.  Pour in rest of pasta sauce and spread evenly, then sprinkle on remaining mozzarella.  Cover and simmer over med-low heat until noodles are tender - about 20 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and cool for 5 min.  Cut into squares and serve! (Serves 6.)

Tiffany's Energy Bites

1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)

2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)

1/3 cup honey or agave nectar

1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Makes about 20-25 balls.

It's getting real, folks, and it turns out we might be more high-maintenance than we first thought! In this final episode of our Quirks Series, Christine, Sarah, and Stacey reveal the five things they can't live without. Not on a deserted island or in a future dystopian civilization. Nope, these are five things we need each and every day to "survive" in ordinary life.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - ZonePerfect protein bars, Energy Fizz Sticks by Arbonne
Stacey - Minimalism: A Documentary, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Christine - Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, Highway to Heaven on Netflix

If you've ever studied another language, visited a foreign country, or tried to teach your kids to read, you've surely concluded that English is quirky. Words spelled identically can sound complete different, while words spelled differently can sound identical. (Don't even get us started on pony and bologna!) This week, Christine, Sarah, and Stacey laugh their way through all the quirky ways English is weird.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Dove Chocolate Real Cherries, Swiftly Tech T-Back tank by lululemon
Sarah - Grimes Sweetcorn, navy and white v-neck dress from Gap Factory
Christine - The Allusionist podcast, For The Love podcast with Jen Hatmaker

Quirks. We all have them. Some people are just better at hiding them than others. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey let their "freak flags fly" in this episode, revealing quirks and the many ways they are odd ducks.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - homemade biscuits, Biore Pore Cleansing Strips
Stacey - Zuccini Bread (recipe link below), Sam Edelman heels
Christine - Baby Driver, Curl Genius by BeLissPro


It's the last week of July and you might find yourself in a summer rut. Same ol' routine, same ol' lunches. Even the pool is boring your kids. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey brainstorm ideas for how to break out of your rut with spontaneous ideas to finish the summer strong!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Kendra Scott jewelryNordstrom app
Sarah - QuikTrip slushies, From Cradle to Stage by Virginia Grohl
Christine - The Queen movie, Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast Season 2

Is the world safer or more dangerous than when we grew up? Consequently, do our kids have more or less independence? Christine, Sarah, and Stacey debate the pros and cons of giving our kids more freedom, including why it's challenging, what that freedom looks like at different ages, and what steps to take and language to use when teaching independence.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - IKEA on Amazon Prime, stock tank pools
Sarah - Sherlock, eyebrow filling with eye shadow
Christine - Reese's Crunchy Cookie PB CupsBurger King's Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Whether stateside or international, adventuresome or relaxing, travel provides life-long memories. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share their own travel preferences and what places are currently on their travel bucket lists.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Hotel Tonight, travel neck pillows
Stacey - The Girl Before by JP Delaney, metal fans
Christine - Trip Advisor, The Music Man at the Des Moines Playhouse (July 14 - Aug 6)

This is a bonus episode introducing Christine's new podcast with her daughter Tess.

Launching this fall, Teenie Tiny Talks is designed for moms and tween daughters to listen to in the car on the way to and from activities. The episodes are short, fun, and relevant for this important season of life.

Tweens will love the topics. Moms will love the connection. Both will love the fun! Preview Teenie Tiny Talks today and look for full episodes coming this fall.

In honor of the upcoming 4th of July holiday, Christine, Sarah and Stacey are talking about American history, specifically their favorite people and events and which historic moments had the greatest impact on our country.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Betty Jane Candies, One-step Tie-Dye Kits from Tulip
Stacey - World of Dance on NBCBlaze Pizza
Christine - Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave, 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Beach Reads: entertaining, easy-to-read, page turners. Just in time for your vacation, Christine, Sarah, and Stacey give their favorite beach reads of all time and the beach reads making their list for 2017.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Swiss Family RobinsonDress for Success Des Moines
Stacey - "Readers Gonna Read" gear, Citterio Fresco kit
Christine - "The Water's Edge" by Sara Gruen, school supply packs

Dads are famous for the wise, but corny, things they say and our dads are no exception. In honor of Father's Day week, Christine, Sarah and Stacey are dishing up the funny, brilliant and confusing things their dads always say.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - funny graphic Ts for dads, The People vs. OJ Simpson on Netflix
Stacey - Ribba frames from IKEA, round beach towels
Christine - BloodlineSherlock

Summer is about fun and relaxation, but it's also a great time to teach your kids about responsibility, contribution, and money management. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share summer chore strategies for useful ways your kids can help out around the house this summer.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Arrival movie, Hershey's Snack Mix
Stacey - Juniper Pants by prAna, Mancala
Christine - Voluminous Superstar mascara by Loreal, Caramel M&Ms

Christine, Sarah, and Stacey are determined to be the "bosses" of summer 2017 and are starting by outlining some of the things they will FINALLY do.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Key lime pie, Cooks vs. Cons on Food Network
Stacey - Plant-themed pun pots, WELLA BAR - Organic Fresh Protein Bars
Christine - One-Pot Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole by Damn Delicious (recipe below), Lion Movie

One-Pot Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
1 cup rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10-ounce can) Ro*Tel® Mild Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 Roma tomato, diced

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook until beef has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; stir in taco seasoning. Drain excess fat. Stir in rice, vegetable broth, beans, Ro*Tel®, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, about 16-18 minutes. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Remove from heat and top with cheeses. Cover until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with tomato, if desired.

Christine, Sarah, and Stacey took a trip through Target finding all sorts of treasures they think Straight From The Heartland Podcast listeners would like. From grocery items to home decor, clothing to seasonal, Target has it all!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - heirloom tomatoes, Bonne Maman apricot preserves
Sarah - laundry gift basket for grads, card showers
Christine - The Shauna Niequist PodcastAnne With An E on Netflix

Budgeting, saving, giving, and having wisdom in spending decisions gives you peace of mind, which is important in taking care of your self and your relationships. This week, Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share their strategies for managing their finances.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Planet Money podcast, the Envelope System by Dave Ramsey
Sarah - Dill Oyster Crackers (recipe below), All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Christine - Oreo Cookie Candy Bar, Adventure Passes from Grimes Library

Dill Oyster Crackers

  • 2½ tablespoons freshly chopped dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 16-oz. box oyster crackers

  • 1 1-oz. packet ranch salad dressing

  • ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper (optional), and/or garlic powder


Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a small bowl, add the oil, ranch packet, dill, and lemon pepper and/or garlic powder. Stir until mixed through. In a 1-gallon-size resealable bag, add the crackers and oil mixture. Seal the bag and toss until well-coated. Arrange the crackers on an ungreased half-sheet pan in a single layer. Bake the crackers for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.

Do you prioritize exercise, nutrition, and sleep? When was the last time you visited the doctor? You're not alone. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey discuss putting their Health on the list and why they struggle to do it.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - graphic tee from Target, charcuterie board from IKEA
Stacey - Barre classes, KIND Bars
Christine - Zuppa Tuscana soup (recipe below), The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Zuppa Tuscana Soup

1 lb Italian sausage
6 slices of bacon
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 quart water
2 T chicken bouillon granules
2 medium potatoes cut into 1/4" slices
2 cups shredded kale
1/8 t. red pepper
1/3 c. heavy cream

Brown sausage. Brown bacon, reserving 1 T bacon fat. Saute onion until soft in bacon fat. Add garlic and cook one minute. Add water, chicken bouillon, and potatoes. Bring to boil, cover, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add meats, kale, red pepper and cook for four minutes. Stir in cream and heat through without boiling.

Christine, Sarah, and Stacey are launching a three-week series about Self-Care by discussing how to put your Self back on the list. They share whether this is easy or challenging, why it's important and ways they go about doing it.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Starbucks Caramel CoffeeThe Good Wife
Sarah - Volcano Candle by Capri Blue, Magic Bullet by NutriBullet
Christine - Before The Fall by Noah HawleyHow I Built This podcast

Comparing ourselves and our kids to others is an easy trap to fall into. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share their own struggles with comparison and what steps they try and take to get out of the trap.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - decorating with world maps, Fancy Love fragrance by Jessica Simpson
Stacey - A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Wag'n Tags on Etsy
Christine - Imposters on Bravo, Word Cookies game app

Grocery shopping - enjoyable or necessary evil? Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share strategies, tips and hacks for making this ongoing chore more manageable.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - kinetic sand, Manchester By The Sea
Stacey - Criminal: A PodcastMTV Classic
Christine -  Plan to Eat menu planning service, MasterChef Junior

Christine, Sarah, and Stacey are joining Bon Jovi and living on a prayer this week. We discuss what prayer is (and isn't), why we need it (to keep us sane) and ways we incorporate prayer into our busy lives.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - For Everyone by N. T. Wright, Chocolate Texax Sheet Cake (recipe below)
Stacey - The Shack movie, Dark Chocolate Caramels from Trader Joe's
Christine - Psalms-in-a-month reading plan (Day of the month plus 30. Example: Day 1 - read Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, 121), The Passion Of The Christ

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

2 sticks butter
4 T cocca
1 C water
2 C flour
2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C 2% milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. soda

Combine first three ingredients in saucepan and heat until boiling. In separate bowl, mix flour and sugar together. Pour boiling ingredients over flour and sugar mixture and beat well. Add vanilla, milk, eggs and soda; beat well. Pour mixture info a greased jelly roll pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

1 stick butter
4 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. walnuts, chopped (I never add these)

Five minutes before cake is done, make the frosting. Melt the butter and combine with cocoa and milk, bringing mixture to a boil. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well, adding the walnuts last. Spread over warm cake.

What's new in the fashion world this spring? Christine, Sarah, and Stacey are talking trends, must-haves, and miscues in this week's episode about spring fashion.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Billions, gifts from Harry & David
Sarah - Cabi's Playsuit, Cabi's Isla Wedge
Christine - Old Navy's Rockstar Skinny Jean in spring colors, PAAS Easter Egg Decorating color cups

We have a very important announcement related to the podcast and Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share all the details in this week's episode.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Egg Opening videos on YouTube, UFC
Stacey - Swedish Fish Oreos, Simply Fit Board
Christine - Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, shrimp ramen

Marriage has always been hard. Marriage today seems to be especially hard. Whether it be the busy pace of life, living in a kid-centered world, or opting out of marriage altogether, the modern marriage has its challenges. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey discuss those challenges and what they can say, do, and promise their spouses to keep their marriages strong.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Missing Richard Simmons podcastShutterfly app's unlimited 4x4 and 4x6 prints
Sarah - Ed Sheeran's upcoming tour, Herbie The Love Bug movies
Christine - FamilyLife's Weekend to RememberNeutrogena's Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

The weight of jobs, mortgages, bills, and responsibility can leave us wondering where the fun versions of ourselves disappeared to. This week, Christine, Sarah and Stacey discuss why having fun is important and how they seek to create fun for themselves, their spouses, their kids and their friends.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - On The Road with Steve Hartman, illustrations by Mari Andrew
Stacey - cleaning stainless steel with olive oil, Glee
Christine - How I Met Your MotherHershey's Cookie Layer Crunch

Boys and girls are different and that makes parenting each a unique challenge. Christine, Sarah, and Stacey talk about the differences they find in raising both boys and girls, including gender differences between them and their spouses in their parenting styles.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Joss & MainThe Circle by Dave Eggers
Sarah - Sneaky PeteLa La Land
Christine - Season 3 premiere (March 12th) of American Crime, Puppy Chow (link for the recipe)

Christine, Sarah, and Stacey make the case for why parenting is more challenging today than when our parents raised us and what we're trying to do about that.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas, lariat necklaces
Stacey - "Big Little Lies" series on HBO, Spring Morning Wreath from Grandin Road
Christine - The Brady Bunch on dvd, homemade cheese soup (see recipe below)

Cheese Soup

32 oz. chicken broth
16 oz. frozen California blend vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots)
2 c. hashbrown potatoes
16 oz. (1 lb) Velveeta
10 3/4 oz (1 can) cream of chicken soup

Bring broth and veggies to a boil. Add potatoes and simmer for five minutes. Add Velveeta and can of soup. Mix until well-blended and thick, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.

Is parenting just hard generally or are there certain ages or stages that are particularly difficult? Sarah, Stacey, and Christine discuss their thoughts, including what stages were toughest for them and advice they'd give parents right in the thick of it.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Dude Perfect, Cajun Shrimp nail polish by OPI
Stacey - the Excursion Vest by J.Crew, Minwax wood finish stain markers
Christine - 24: LegacyParent Cue podcast and website

What's making our hearts beat?? We ask this question every episode and this week, in celebration of our one-year anniversary, we're 100% all about the heartbeats. We discuss how we came up with the concept, where we find our heartbeat inspiration, our Top Five heartbeats from this past year, and which heartbeats we'd like to take back!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Hunted on CBS, fresh cut flowers from Trader Joe's
Sarah - Girl Scout cookies, Enneagram Personality Inventory
Christine - Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham, Making Oprah podcast

We're celebrating the podcast-versary with a behind-the-scenes look at Straight From The Heart(land). Want to know why we decided to do a podast, how we came up with the name, when we record and how we come up with our topics? You're in luck!

Everything you've ever wondered about the podcast, including what we've learned and what's surprised us the most this past year. Plus, What's Making Our Hearts Beat and listener anniversary greetings! (Listen to the very end for the cutest eight year-old around!)

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Magnolia Home Furniture, decorating with honeycomb and letter balloons
Sarah - Shauna Niequist's Lemon Dill Soup (recipe below), "Who Would Win?" books for kids
Christine - Sing Street, Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix (recipe below)


2 cups chopped onion * 1 cup chopped celery * 1 cup chopped carrots * olive oil * 3 clove garlic, minced * 6 cups chicken broth * 1/2 cup brown rice * 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded * 1/4 cup juice from fresh lemons * 4 sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped * salt & pepper

In a Dutch oven, sauté the onion, celery, and carrots in about 1/4 cup olive oil (I also added a couple tablespoons of butter) until soft, then add garlic. Stir well, then add broth (I used 8+ cups broth) and rice (I used 1 1/2 cups wild brown rice which is why I added more liquid). Allow rice to cook most of the way through (this took about 40 minutes). Five minutes before rice is cooked through, add chicken (this is an option but makes a hearty, stand-alone meal), and lemon juice (doubled this too) and dill (I used the whole bag provided which was about 2 tablespoons chopped). Add salt and pepper to taste.


1 (12 qt.) box of instant nonfat dry milk * 2 lb. container of Nestle Quik * 1 (10 oz.) jar of powdered coffee creamer * 1 lb. of powdered sugar

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Stir 1/3 cup of mix into 8 oz. of hot water. Add more powdered mix to taste.

Author of "The Happiness Dare," Jennifer Dukes Lee, joins the podcast discussing how the book came about, the dare to live a happy life and how our happiness styles affect our life and relationships.

Plus, we'll be celebrating our podcast-versary the next two week and you can leave us a celebratory greeting (and be entered to win a prize!) by calling 201-688-SFTH (7384).

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - mermaid pillows, Love, maude
Sarah - new, TALL pajamas from Soma IntimatesCooking for Jeffrey cookbook by Ina Garten
Jennifer Dukes Lee - ViBella Jewelry, jazz music
Christine - "Lunches with Teenie," Boomchickapop's Cheddar Cheese popcorn

Stacey has a new puppy which got us thinking about the process of naming things, specifically our kids. We talk approaches, meanings behind the names, naming rules and if we have any regrets on the names we chose (hint: one of us does).

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Rally Up game, Stan Smiths by Adidas
Stacey - VitamixUp and Vanished podcast
Christine - Chobani Chocolate Cherry yogurt, "The Happiness Dare" by Jennifer Dukes Lee

It's our 50th episode (woo hoo!) and we're talking about something near and dear to our hearts - binge watching television!

Have you ever found yourself in a show hole? How did you know and, better yet, how did you get out? Christine, Sarah and Stacey talk tv binge watching, their top show hole recommendations, plus what's currently in their tv queue.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Schitt's Creek on Amazon, Amopé Pedi-Perfect Electronic Foot File
Stacey - The Durrells in Corfu on PBS, The New Yorker Presents
Christine - Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, Akeelah And The Bee presented by Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre

Typically the beginning of a new year finds us buckling down, ramping up, and hustling. But, what if we chose to slow down instead? Sarah, Stacey and Christine ask tough questions about what drives our busy lives, if there's another way of doing it and what steps we can take to get there.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Dreamy Cotton Pajama Set by J.Crew, Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes cookbook by Damn Delicious
Sarah - Quantico on NBC, Snowtime Anytime indoor snowball fight
Christine - Audio Dramas: Homecoming and Limetown

Resolutions, goals, and yearly themes are the topic. Do you make them? Do you keep them? We think you'll be surprised and entertained by Sarah, Stacey, and Christine's take on the January tradition. Hear all about it below!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - homemade lotion (recipe below), essays by David Sedaris
Stacey - Tippy Toad personalization site, Vaseline as an eye makeup remover
Christine - Timeless on NBC, Peanut Butter M&Ms

Homemade Lotion

2 containers baby lotion (I get cocoa butter)
2 tubs vitamin E cream (I get the gold/yellow "E" one)
1 small container of Vaseline

Mix and enjoy!

The year 2016 is coming to a close and Christine, Sarah, and Stacey chat all about it. Top new stories, trends, and events as well as their personal highlights and low points. Happy New Year, everyone!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Tivoli II boots by Sorel, Wander Cargo Pant by Athleta
Sarah - puzzles, Trader Joe's ravioli
Christine - Panera at Home by Panera Bread, Terrible, Thanks for Asking podast

Elf ears, fruitcake for every meal and singing Jingle Bells at the top of your lungs every time you enter a room lead the way in this week's Christmas edition of Would You Rather. This is the perfect podcast for your holiday traveling or to use as conversation starters at your gatherings.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Straight From The Heart(land)!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Candy Cane Jo Joe's from Trader Joe's, local wines
Stacey - A Johnny Swim Christmas by JohnnySwim, bottle brush trees
Christine - Gilmore Girls' A Year in The Life on Netflix, pepper jelly

Lines, overloaded schedules, gift pressure, Christmas cards, finding room for all the stuff and putting Christmas decor away top our list of what we HATE about Christmas. Maybe you can relate? Join Sarah, Stacey and Christine as we laugh (and vent) our way through this week's episode.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Emergen-CThistle Farms
Stacey - Sugar Paper Los Angeles, garland from Costco
Christine - Family Pajamas from Target, Overnight Coffeecake (recipe below)

Overnight Coffeecake

2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

2/3 c margarine
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c buttermilk or sour milk

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c nuts

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to mixture. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle topping over all. (I leave the nuts out and add a bit more brown sugar.) Leave on counter overnight. Do not refrigerate. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

This week, Stace, Sarah, and Christin are talking Christmas favorites, including songs, movies, treats and movies.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Cheese Coins (see recipe below), Cup Of Jo's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide
Stacey - Ballerina Jeggings from Old Nav, Almond Butter Granola from Trader Joe'
Christine - "The Mistletoe Secret" by Richard Paul Evans, "Sarah's Song" by Karen Kingsbury

Cheese Coins

2 c flour
1 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 c. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 c. grated sharp, white cheddar cheese (more, depending on how finely grated the cheese is)

Combine flour, salt, paprika and pepper in food processor fitted with metal blade; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese; process until dough starts to come together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead a few times. Divide into 4 equal pieces and roll into logs, each about 6 inches long. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. (Can also be frozen.)

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment. Cut dough into 1/3” thick slices and place about 2” apart on sheet. Bake until browned, about 15-20 min (watch closely). Remove from oven, let cool and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. They freeze really well.

Rosemary Cheese Coins:
eliminate paprika and cayenne
add heaping tsp. of dried, crushed rosemary
sprinkle kosher salt on top of baked coins and lightly press w/finger

Before Thanksgiving or after? Just the living room or the whole house? Inside only or outside too?

Stacey, Christine and Sarah are talking holiday decorating and their traditions, favorites, and best approaches for decking the halls.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Family Faces Sticker Book from Pinhole PressLove Actually
Stacey - Oprah's Favorite Things List 2016, "The Nest" by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Christine - Pie Face game, Jolly Holiday Lights

Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie top Stacey, Sarah, and Christine's list for favorite Thanksgiving foods. But, the burning question we really want to know is: why are all Thanksgiving foods brown??

Happy Thanksgiving week from us at Straight From The Heart(land)!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Charcuterie, Saturday Night Live app
Sarah - Ghirardelli Chocolate Company peppermint bark,  Nespresso Vertuoline coffee maker
Christine - The Crown on Netflix, the end of Pumpkin Spice season : )

We have love-hate relationship with social media. We love the opportunity to connect and encourage. We hate the endless nature and temptation for comparison. This week, Stacey, Christine, and Sarah authentically share their struggles (can you say, time vacuum?) with social media and the questions they're wrestling with on the topic.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - succulents, Magna-Tiles
Stacey - Apple Music, "Lovable, Livable Home" by Young House Love
Christine - "Adnan's Story" by Rabia Chaudry, Oh's cereal by Post

In the first of a two-episode series about technology, Sarah, Stacey, and Christine tackle the tough topic of kids & screens. How much is too much? Should we set limits and how do we do that? How can we protect our kids while letting them know we trust them? No easy answers, but the trio is asking the tough questions.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - "Screens and Teens" by Dr. Kathy Koch, The Talking Shirt
Sarah - Fight the New DrugJames Bay's "Chaos and the Calm"
Christine - Unroll.MeConviction

This week, Sarah, Stacey, and Christine are talking presidential politics and would like to thank you for your support. Straight From The Heart(land) aims to be a podcast for the people, by the people and our platform is built on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….or whatever is making our hearts beat!

We are Straight From The Heart(land) and we approve this message.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Magnolia Journal, Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Pancake Mix by Williams-Sonoma
Sarah - "Jesus For President" by Shane Claiborne, "Hard Love" album by Need to Breathe
Christine - Hamilton's America on PBS (through 11.18.16), Oral-B Vitality toothbrush

Handmade, store-bought, part of theme, or recycled from last year, Stacey, Sarah, and Christine are talking all about Halloween costumes, including whether women use Halloween as an opportunity to dress trashy (one of the SFTH hosts may have done this accidentally!).

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - SuperSeedzLindsay Letters
Stacey - decorating with wheat for fall, blanket scarves
Christine - Bit-O-Honey, Real Crime Profile podcast

One member of the Straight From The Heart(land) trio (shhh, it's Stacey!) turns 40 this week and we're talking all about it - the apprehensions, noticeable changes to both our bodies and perspectives, as well as hopes for this decade.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Frontline PodcastFujifilm Instax cameras
Sarah - From Where I Drone, Scentsational Candles
Christine - Dream Fruit Dip (recipe below), Designated Survivor

Dream Fruit Dip

Note: this recipe makes A LOT of dip and can easily be cut in half with plenty to enjoy!

12 ounces cream cheese

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, unsifted

1 cup sour cream

1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons cognac (optional)

In small bowl, cream the cheese until soft and smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until well blended. Add the sour cream and the rest of the ingredients. Blend just until well combined. Cover and chill several hours before serving.

Sarah's pet peeves (you'll NEVER guess), Christine's overseas dining fail, and Stacey's irrational fear related to sleep all in this week's episode. Our attempt was for you to get to know us better, but we may have offended our entire audience in the process!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Moonstruck Chocolate Co.Bits of Vintage
Sarah - Smoky Mountains Fall Foilage Prediction Map, frozen fruit salad (recipe below)
Christine - Center Grove OrchardBisquick Shake & Pour

Frozen Fruit Salad

1 17 oz can apricots
1 17 oz can crushed pineapple
1 c liquid from the canned fruit
1/2 c sugar
3 10 oz pkg. frozen strawberries
1 6 oz can frozen OJ
2 T lemon juice
3 diced bananas

Drain apricots and pineapple, reserving liquid to make 1 cup.  Heat liquid and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Add strawberries and juice.  Cut up apricots and bananas.  Add.  Spoon into cupcake papers in muffin tins.  Place tins in freezer.  Remove from freezer 20-30 min before serving.  Makes 30 or more servings.

The average American adult makes over 35,000 decisions a day. A day! Sarah, Christine, and Stacey talk about how that leads to decision fatigue and their almost daily refusal to "adult" any more.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Stranger Things on Netflix, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (see recipe below)
Stacey - Heather plants from Trader Joe'sDecor Steals
Christine - This Is Us on NBC, Belong Tour (event coming to St. Paul, MN on Oct. 21-22)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 eggs
2 C sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
3 c flour
2 tsp. baking soad
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 12 oz pkg chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix eggs and sugar lightly.  Add oil and pumpkin.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture; stir only until well mixed.  Add chocolate chips.  Spray muffin tins or line with papers.  Makes 24 standard muffins.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

If you want a healthier version, I put in 3/4 c oil and 3/4 c applesauce.  Or, substitute 1 1/2 c applesauce for all the oil.  YUM!

No matter their ages, our kids are facing peer pressure. In this week's episode, Stacey, Christine, and Sarah discuss how to prepare kids for those pressure moments, including giving them tools to stand up strong and the importance of letting them fail now when the consequences are minor.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Pumpkin Corn Chowder from Midwest LivingLetterFolk
Stacey - Garden Lites Chocolate MuffinsMotive tv show
Christine - Malcolm Gladwell's podcast Revisionist History, Oct. 1-2 Women's Retreat at Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp (IOLBC)

Sweaters, jeans, and boots!! The weather will be turning cooler (we hope!) and that means fall fashion! Stacey, Sarah, and Christine discuss their favorite fall fashion items, including the latest trends for Fall 2016.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - heirloom pumpkins, In the Dark podcast
Sarah - Veep, Dusk Destructed Skinny jeans by cabi
Christine - Chobani drinksConcussion movie

What's For Dinner? Why does this simple question feel so accusatory? Making dinner takes mental energy and advance preparation....and we have to do this EVERY day!!

Christine, Sarah, and Stacey share their best strategies for figuring out the dinner question, including their three, go-to dinner meals and what they serve when they've decided to phone dinner in for the night.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Cinnamon Streusel Bread from Costco, Pumpkin Spice Coffee from Trader Joe's
Stacey - silpat baking mats, 10-piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set from Martha Stewart
Christine - Threshold can opener from TargetFarrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping

Stacey's Go-to Dinner Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Sarah's Go-To Dinner Recipes

Hamburgers for a Crowd (Grandma Sims)

2 lb hamburger

1/2 c barbecue sauce

1 c tomato juice

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c vinegar

2 T chopped onion or onion salt

1/2 c chopped celery or celery salt

 Brown hamburger, add all other ingredients.  Simmer for one hour.  Add quick-cooking oatmeal to thicken if needed. 


Manicotti with Cheese Filling (Judy Walsten)

1 box manicotti

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

one 15 oz. container ricotta cheese

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

32 oz. jar spaghetti sauce

 Cook manicotti according to directions on package, drain.  Cool in single layer on wax paper or aluminum foil to prevent manicotti from sticking together.  Combine cheeses, parsley, salt and pepper for filling; spoon into manicotti.  Spread thin layer of sauce on bottom of 9x13” baking pan; arrange manicotti in single layer over sauce.  Cover with remaining sauce.  Cover with aluminum foil; bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Remove foil; bake 15 minutes longer.


Pannekoeken (Rosalie Altena)

Preheat 3 qt. baking pan in 425 degree oven (pan must have straight sides, not higher than 3”)

Blend 4 eggs for 1 minute on high in blender

Take pan from oven, add 3 T butter, return to oven to melt

Slowly add 1 c milk through top of blender

Slowly add 1 c flour through top of blender

Blend 30 more seconds

Remove hot pan from oven

Immediately pour blended batter into hot pan

Bake for 20-25 minutes:  Pannekoeken will rise and brown slightly

 Serve with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.  Or try savory toppings like cheese, mushrooms, peppers, etc.

Christine's Go-To Dinner Recipes

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis (Ro-tel)
2 can regular diced tomatoes
1 can corn (drained)
2 packets of ranch dressing mix
1 packet of taco seasoning mix

Brown ground beef and chopped onion. Drain fat. Combine with remaining ingredients in large stock pot or crock pot. Add water until it reaches the consistency you prefer. Bring to a boil and then simmer on med-low heat until heated through (20-30 min). We top with corn chips and serve with cornbread.


Easy Chicken Stir Fry

1 lb chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 package frozen stir fry vegetables
1/3-1/2 c. stir fry sauce

Cook chicken on medium heat until no longer pink. Add stir fry sauce to coat. Combine with vegetables and toss until veggies are cooked through. Serve on rice.


Turkey Meatloaf

1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg
1/2-sleeve of saltine crackers (crushed) or 1 c of bread crumbs
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. milk

Combine ground turkey, crackers/bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. In separate bowl, mix soup and milk to create a sauce. Add 1/3 of the sauce to the turkey mixture and mix thoroughly.

Pour turkey mixture into greased, small glass casserole dish or bread pan. Top with remaining sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with rice. (We like to spoon the sauce over the rice.)



We are unapologetic tv fanatics and this is our favorite time of year - the release of the new fall, tv lineups! Sarah, Stacey, and Christine discuss the shows they are most looking forward to and speculate on which ones will be duds.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Mayfair Soap Foundry's Bubble Bath at Target, navy blue nail polish
Stacey - The Container StoreThe Little Prince Movie on Netflix
Christine - Pete's DragonPretzel Crisps

Sarah, Stacey, and Christine recap their summers - the highlights, regrets, and the pressure to make summer magical for their kids, including the resulting disappointment when they fear they've failed.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Tim Hortons CoffeeGroopDealz
Sarah - Passion Planner,  People StyleWatch fall issue
Christine - "All The Missing Girls" by Megan MirandaReese's Pieces PB Cups

"We just need you to listen and not try to fix."
"I'm tired means: I'm tired."
"Just because we know it's coming each month, doesn't make it less of a 'crazy maker.'"

These are just a few of the Things We Wish Men Knew. Join Christine,Stacey, and Sarah for this hilarious look at the differences between men and women.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Any Day Tote from Altar'd State, Turkish Towels
Sarah - M&Ms + Dry Roasted, Salted Peanuts, Burgundy Oxfords
Christine - Delici Luxurious Desserts, "Where They Found Her" by Kimberly McCreight

Is there such a thing as "Midwest Nice" or "Iowa Nice"? Christine, Stacey, and Sarah discuss what it is, how it differs from Minnesota Nice and all the awesome things that make them proud to be from the Midwest (hint: corn and livestock don't make the list!).

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Bullet Journaling‪imomsohard‬ videos - ISpanxSoHard video
Stacey - DW Home candles, Forever 21 camis
Christine - Iowa State Fairwww.michaelmeggison.com

Back-to-school is around the corner and Christine, Stacey, and Sarah share their feelings about the upcoming school year and what steps they're taking to prepare themselves and their kids.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Shauna Niequist's new book Present Over PerfectThe Great British Bake Off
Stacey - Peanut butter-filled pretzels from Fresh Thyme Farmers MarketThe Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin Christine - Fresh Cravings Salsa (restaurant style, medium), Sequence

Whether you consider yourself high maintenance, low maintenance or somewhere in between, you'll laugh along with Stacey, Christine, and Sarah as they share their trials and many errors (electric blue eye liner and weenie roll bangs, anyone?) in figuring out their best hair and makeup looks. Plus, product ideas!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Redken Diamond Oil, Green Smoothie by Iowa Girl Eats
Stacey - Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Primer in Mood LightBareMinerals Warmth bronzer
Christine - Angie's Boomchickapop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn,  Storycast podcast

Christine, Sarah and Stacey wrap up their "Advice I'd Give My Younger Self" series with advice for their 30-39 year-old selves, including making time for friends and husbands, seeing stretch marks as badges of honor, and finding their place in this world outside of their roles as wives and moms.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah: Mindy Kaling's book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?", Chicken Salad
Stacey: Liane Moriarty's book "Big Little Lies", Charming Charlie
Christine: "Graceland" on Netflix and USA Network, Undisclosed Podcast

Holy smokes! So many changes happened in our 20s and we could have used a lot of advice! As they say, hindsight is always 20:20 and Sarah, Stacey, and Christine have lots of thoughts for their younger selves this week.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Amazon Prime PantryDash & Albert Rug Company indoor/outdoor rugs
Sarah - Bloodline on Netflix, The Global Leadership Summit
Christine - sports cooling towels like MissionAthlete's Enduracool Microfiber Cooling Towel, Iowa sweetcorn

Week 2 of our July series, "Advice I'd Give My Younger Self," focuses on those tumultuous teen years. Oh boy! Friends, boys, and our bodies were hot topics in which we really could have used our expert guidance.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

 Stacey - UncommonGoods, Neutrogena's Face and Body Stick
Sarah - Lip Sense lipstick, Who What Wear website
Christine - method home All-Purpose Cleaner in Clementine, rompers

Don't we sometimes wish we could go back and give our younger selves advice? All this month, Sarah, Stacey, and Christine do just that.

This week's episode focuses on advice for our younger selves ages zero to nine years old in the categories of friendship, family, our bodies, boys and finding our place in this world.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - License plate travel game, Bath & Body Works' Three-wick Candles
Stacey - Hinge in Valley Junction, Young House Love's podcast (Young House Love Has A Podcast)
Christine - The Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese BreadJojo Moyes' book and movie "Me Before You"

It's 4th of July week and Stacey, Sarah, and Christine discuss fireworks, food, and freedom.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Snickers Salad, Resolve Carpet Foam
Stacey - Paper fans from Paper SourceGrace and Frankie on Netflix
Christine - Original Bomb Pop, potato salad

Staying connected to friends and God in the summer can be challenging. Sarah, Stacey, and Christine discuss tips for making those relationships a priority and why you need your friends and faith even more during the summer months.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - San Pellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages, pencil pouches from World Market
Sarah - Peanut butter pancakes by Rachael RayEasy Chic with Sarah
Christine - Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper, Shopaholic book series by Sophie Kinsella

The Straight From The Heartland husbands take over the podcast this week in honor of Father's Day week and listeners are in for a wild ride! Christine's husband Michael, Sarah's husband Aaron, and Stacey's husband Brad talk most/least favorite parts of being dads, if they feel pressure, what they learned from their own dads, and if they have "$%*# my Dad says" moments with their kids.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Badminton
Brad - Abel James and the Fat Burning Man podcast
Sarah - Jim Gaffigan's Mr. Universe and Beyond the Pale specials on Netflix
Aaron - Casey's General Store pizza and a new reciprocating saw
Michael (Megs) -  Expression 58 podcast and Dr. Caroline Leaf's "Switch On Your Brain"
Christine - Rhubarb Slush

This week's episode is all about summer - "air you can wear," conquering mosquitoes, our old summer jobs, and the favorite foods we can't wait to eat!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Radarcan portable mosquito repellers, patio string lights
Sarah - morning coffee trick (1/2 flavored, 1/2 inexpensive), CBS This Morning
Christine - summer discount movie clubsJesus Calling by Sarah Young

Sarah, Christine, and Stacey play another round of Would You Rather complete with questions about time machines, third eyes, and living for 1,000 years.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Vintage & Made Fair, Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
Christine - Gain Laundry Detergent in Apple Mango Tango, fruit and vegetable smoothies
Stacey - Little Red Porch, vacation postcards

With just days until summer vacation, Stacey, Sarah, and Christine share the steps they take to try and set themselves and their kids up for summer success! What are your tips for making summer great?

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - HelloFreshDear John Denim
Sarah - adult coloring books, The Pioneer Woman's dishes
Christine - patio dining, The Ranch on Netflix

May is the new December complete with parties, programs, recitals, events, and gifts. It's enough to drive the Straight From The Heart(land) ladies crazy! Hear all about how Stacey, Sarah, and Christine are coping with the month of May and how they hope to finish well even though they lack total motivation.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - maxi dresses, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market West Des Moines
Sarah - Sharpie pens, cold water with lemon essential oil
Christine - COVERGIRL Lash Blast Volume mascaraBrownberry Bread Pocket Thins Flat Bread

In this week's episode, Sarah, Christine and Stacey discuss fashion, discovering their personal style, and their favorite places to shop for clothes.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Faux Tan Body Sunless Body Tanner by Bare Escentuals's, Matrix's Vavoom Height of Glam Volumizing Foam

Sarah - Prince's Ultimate CollectionSoma Intimates' bras

Christine - ShutterflySomeone Knows Something podcast

Christine, Stacey, and Sarah welcome special guests - their moms! - to celebrate the upcoming Mother's Day holiday. The moms compare mothering in the 80s to mothering today, share whether their daughters were hard to raise, and offer advice to today's moms.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Wishing Bracelet by Stella & Dot
Judy - "Having a Mary Heart in A Martha World" by Joanna Weaver
Stacey - CIZE by Shaun T
Mindy - the Pledge of Allegiance
Deb - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Christine - Carroll's Cheesy Potatoes

Carroll's Cheesy Potatoes Recipe

2 lbs frozen hashbrowns
1 large (16 oz) sour cream
2 cans (14.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 chopped onion
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/2 stick of melted butter

Combine all ingredients and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.

The busyness of life is a challenge for all of us. In this week's podcast, Christine, Sarah, and Stacey tackle this important topic, including whether life balance is achievable and how to create time to take care of ourselves.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - OGGI water bottles, Lore podcast

Sarah - The Chic Site by Rachel Hollis, lemon drops

Christine - The West Wing Weekly podcast, For The Love by Jen Hatmaker

This week, we answer your listener questions, including most embarrassing moments, what inspires us, how we de-stress and what we do for date nights.

Thanks to Cassie Marks, Kelly O'Hare, Mariah Hurley, Heather Noble and Steph Zeller for providing the questions. 

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Anthropologie stores, bagel sandwiches

Sarah - Modern FamilyBeautycounter

Christine - IZZE drinks, Instagram

Guilty Pleasures: something that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not held in high regard. Christine, Sarah and Stacey share their own guilty pleasures this week such as celebrity stalking, donuts, and The Bachelor.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - "Youth Revival" album by Hillsong Young & Free, True Bees products

Stacey - The Catch on ABC, Guilty Pleasures playlist on Spotify

Christine - Sycamore Row and Gray Mountain by John Grisham, Echo Prayer app

Is clutter ruling your space and stealing your peace? Just in time for spring cleaning, Sarah, Stacey and Christine share their strategies, tips and favorite products for keeping your home organized and clean as a whistle!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Christine - Entertainment WeeklyThe Americans

Sarah - head scarves, Avocado Mousse (see recipe below)

Stacey - Snappers, refurbished Dyson vacuums

Avocado Mousse

1 whole very ripe avocado
1/2 very ripe banana
splash of vanilla
splash of orange juice

Mash all together and serve with apple slices, berries, or by itself!

Gag me with a spoon! Like, totally! We're flashing back to the 80s and 90s to share Childhood Nostalgia - the fashion, music, toys and products we loved and which ones we hope NEVER make a comeback!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat (Nostalgia Edition)

Stacey - Tom Cruise's "Risky Business" Ray-Bans, Phone and distraction-free coffees and dinners

Sarah - Bonnie Bell's Lip Smacker lip gloss,  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix

Christine - Pee-wee’s Big Holiday on Netflix, Corded, landline telephones

It's Holy Week and Stacey, Sarah and Christine talk mopeds (seriously), real-life rabbits, and those nasty marshmallow Peeps!

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah: her meal-planning system, Amazon Prime

Stacey: Xstava 5-in-1 Curling Iron, non-traditional Easter baskets

Christine: Bluetooth, hands-free technology, the series finale of Downton Abbey

It's mid-March and Stacey, Sarah and Christine are talking St. Patrick's Day (corned beef and cabbage disasters), March Madness (the science behind Sarah's bracketology) and Spring Break (college trips to the retirement village).

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Sarah - Smitten Kitchen cookbook, Carpook Karaoke on The Late Late Show with James Corden

Stacey - NBC's All-Star Tribute to James Burrows (available online through 3.18), Flash Charms at Michael's stores

Christine - Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs, Heated Throws on clearance

Stacey and Christine discuss planning kid parties including themes, Pinterest-pressure, and party failures.


Stacey - Saturday Pants by J. Crew, American Crime on ABC

Christine - Local Swap Sites, Laundry Scheduling

In this show, we confess some mom secrets, including letting our kids have too much screen time, catching toddlers playing in the toilet and having favorite children.

What's making our hearts beat

Christine - ABC's American Crime and Netflix's Fuller House

Stacey - Dirty Secret dry shampoo by Bed Head and Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Black Sea Salt from Trader Joe's

Sarah - People StyleWatch's March issue and Joanna Goddard's website: CupofJo.com

Readers are leaders!! We love reading and this was a fun show where we talked all what genre of books we prefer, our reading habits and our favorite and most-influential books of all time. We also feature an all-book What's Making Our Hearts Beat segment.

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter, Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Sarah - Mindset by Carol Dweck, Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Christine - Rising Strong by Brene Brown, Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin

This show was so fun for us to record that we think the Would You Rather? episodes will become a regular addition to the show. What did you think? Were you answering for yourself as you listened?

What was your easiest question to answer? What was your hardest?

What's Making Our Hearts Beat

Stacey - Karen Slaughter's book "Pretty Girls", the recipe website DamnDelicious.net

Sarah - Online grocery shopping (check out HyVee's Aisles Online if you're in the Midwest, Mindset by Carol Dweck

Christine - Rotisserie chicken (yum!), LemonGrass Spa's Body Polish

Episode 1 may not have been perfect from a technological standpoint, but we enjoyed giving you some backstory on how we became friends and what those friendships look like today.

In the episode, we asked the question, "How do you make friends as adults?" So, how do YOU make new friends now? What has worked for you? Do you agree that it takes longer or that relationships get built through shared experiences (hobbies, kids, etc.)? Comment below to let us know what adult friendships look like in your life - we'd love to hear!


Sarah - People StyleWatch - the 90s are back!, Online Driver's License Renewal

Stacey - Target's One Spot, Bean Boozled

Christine - Somersaults, Libraries

This was our introductory episode. Introducing the podcast and introducing Sarah, Stacey and Christine. It was a shorter, scripted show vs. the typical 45-min, off-the-cuff version you'll find in Episode 1 & 2 (and beyond!)

In the show, we each came up with words that best describe each other. Here's a recap:

Sarah - Fun-loving and Winsome
Stacey - Wise and Trustworthy
Christine - Encouraging and Intentional